That was 4:15 am in New York. Hallie was up and moving toward her reporting time.
We talked on the phone, kept it simple. I told her to go out there and kick some Army butt, and not to forget that she was a light, and God's girl, and NOTHING could get in her way of her dream. She said, "OK" and sounded like she meant it.
Lacey texted me shortly there after with a "We've got this Mom", and next thing I know her little ghost emoji on Snapchat is stationary at "West Point, NY".
I'm not sure what she was worried about most, not having her phone (!) or missing me.
I will go with missing me.
I appreciate Gretchen Denk and her daughter, Monica Eckford for taking Hallie in for the evening. This was Gretchen's final picture this morning.
I think these girls went on in without a 60 second goodbye from Gretchen (just too emotional) and held on to each other for support for the first few minutes. (I have no way of knowing this, I'm only guessing).
Good thing I worked from home yesterday, because I was a mess. Lacey headed to the lake to distract herself from feeling (smart girl) and Kip and I were zero productivity yesterday, due to stalking every single West Point facebook page, twitter account, instagram, you name it, we stalked it.
This will get better with time, RIGHT? It's going to be a long four years.
I won't lie, every time my phone rang my heart skipped a beat yesterday. I'm thinking that if she makes it through today (July 4) and the physical assessment test of running, and pushups with that toe, she's going to make it through. From what I understand, there is a lot of testing and classes the first couple of weeks, which will be perfect to let that toe heal. Never mind the 5 am wake up call for an hour and a half of PT. (I'm blocking that out).
I can't tell you the amount of pride I am feeling. Look at these stats....
301 women! That is Huge, and they could have put 1 Native American (Hallie is Potawatomi indian) LOL. How did they miss that?
Anyway, I looked at this picture about 15 times, until Kip shot it to me and said, "Look at the eyebrow behind the guy. Isn't that Hal?"
Why yes it is! I would know those whispies anywhere!! Kip's "Where's Waldo" game is strong.
My new friend, Traci Greer from Muskogee (her son Jack is a CC, too) sent me updates and live streamed several things, so I felt like I was there. Mistie Burris (her daughter, Abbie is a CC) also kept the pictures coming via facebook and I was so thankful to be able to actually feel what was going on.
In the luxury of my air conditioned house.
Without the walking.
And the sweating.
So thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will do the same for you if I ever find myself at West Point without you the next four years.
The parade was the culmination of a long day, and as I watched the 1200 cadets walk by, I thought to myself....."We will never find her" Where's Waldo will kick our booties.
Kip was AMAZING at that in her childhood, and it served her well today.
This came flying over my phone shortly after she got home and could watch the parade in it's entirety. That's stopping the screen and saving a picture and zooming.
She also may or may not have found all her squad mates on instagram, and all things internet and knew a whole bunch about all of them. Freaky, stalking Mom stuff. She's going to rock being a mom someday. Her kids don't stand a chance!!!!
So much to learn these next four years, so much to enjoy. These cadet candidates are all unique and amazing in their own right. This should be an incredible journey. And for the 10 of you that read my junk, we will have a ball.
This 4th of July starts a new season in our family's life. We have the pride that goes along with serving our country, and the sacrifice it takes to have the freedom we all take for granted. Fireworks will be bittersweet for me this year, but the pride of her commitment and the honor of the challenge will carry me through the next 10 years.